Larita Filton is named as correspondent in a scandalous divorce case. She escapes to France to rebuild her life where she meets John Whittaker. They are later married, but John's well-to-do family finds out Larita's secret.
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At The Movies
Easy Virtue (G) * * *
All in the Family!
By ROBERT WALDMAN
Spring is in the air and a young manÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s heart turns to romance. Passion burns up the screen in Easy Virtue, a dizzying if not dazzling musical treatment of a literary classic from Alliance Films now setting hearts ablaze at the Fifth Avenue Cinemas.
Affairs of the heart can take you by surprise. Shock describes the reaction by a group of stuffy Brits when their prized son returns home with a new lady friend. Taken aback to be sure are the Whittaker household during the hip 40s I guess. Born and bred rich handsome son John makes a special appearance with new wife Larita Whittaker. Fresh from Detroit LaritaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s arrival sort of rubs the rich Whitakers the wrong way.
Knives come out quickly for this newcomer. Both mom and her two sisters believe Larita has only wed John for the money. Cold shoulders abound while the father tries to give this American beauty the benefit of the doubt. Tension reigns down on everyone in this fractured household as conniving takes on new heights in this crowd-pleasing version of a wonderful written masterpiece.
Thanks to great casting you can seize on these memorable characters and just go along for the ride. Continuing to impress is Jessica Biel (The Illusionist) who just radiates on the screen as the lost in love Larita. Only thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s more to this babe than meets the eye. Almost stealing the movie outright is Kristin Scott Thomas (The Other Boleyn Girl) who smokes out the competition as the protective mom Ã¢â‚¬â€œ or is that the ultimate dragon lady. Full of British actors both Ben Barnes (Stardust) and Colin Firth (Mama Mia!) are suitably convincing as son and father with director/writer Stephan Elliott concocting a wonderful interpretation of the written tale on which this movie is based.
Dated movies from Britain may be hard sells to North American audiences these days. Still for 93 minutes you can here get whisked away into a jealousy bound cross culture romance which just oozes that British aristocratic lifestyle with all the trappings of excess.
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